Things will be okay, says Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka on H1-B Visa row and Donald Trump
Los Angeles : Ignoring concerns on H1-B Visa issues in America, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka on Friday expressed hope that policies of the new Trump administration would be friendly towards business, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Speaking at a press meet, he said, "In terms of the new administration, the new President is going to take office next week. President-elect Trump himself is an entrepreneur and has a very business-friendly, innovation-oriented background. So, I expect that the policies of the administration are going to be friendly towards business, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Adding about concerns, Sikka mentioned, “Of course, visa policies and immigration related policies may change and we have to watch and see what happens there. It is not something I am overly concerned about. So far, there is no discernible pattern in client behaviour. Many clients have reached out, because everybody is trying to figure out what this means but I wouldn't say there is any noticeable discernible pattern. So as we see the policies take effect, we will let you know. We are waiting and watching."
There has been concerns in the IT structure following Donald Trump’s election to the highest US post as he is likely to push for a stricter visa regime to curb "abuse" of H1-B and L1 visas used by foreign workers.
The move is likely to significantly impact Indian IT firms, which get about 60 per cent of their revenues from the US.
What are the concerns?
- Ahead of Trump’s swearing-in, two American lawmakers have introduced a bill that seeks to change the H-1B and L-1 visa programmes.
- The bill could sting Indian workers with hike in visa cost. Notably, the US has already sharply hiked H-1B and L-1 visa costs in January 2016 — from $2,000, to $6,000 for H-1B and $4,500 for L-1 visas — for firms that employed 50 or more workers in US, with more than 50% of them employed on H-1B or L-1 visas.
- The 'Protect and Grow American Jobs Act' proposes important changes to the eligibility requirements for H-1B visa exemptions as it seeks to remove the Master's degree exemption for H-1B applicants, which allowed them to skip additional paperwork.
- The bill also attempts to bar companies that have over 50 employees and 50% of them on H-1B or L1 visas (temporary transfer of foreign workers to US), from hiring more.
- Then the bill will raise the minimum salary of H-1B visa to $100,000 per annum (currently it is $60,000 per annum). This would make hiring Indian IT professionals less attractive and may push companies to go for US workers.
- If the new bill is passed, H1-B Visa will not become a lucrative prospect and more people will try visas under other routes such as L1.